This shepherd’s pie recipe is pure comfort food coming straight at ya from Grandma Chicken Chick! My mom made this recipe for our family of 7 and it remains one of my all-time favorites to this day! When this dish popped up as a topic of conversation at this week’s Happy Hour with Hens, I thought it was high time to share the family recipe. I hope you enjoy it too!
1 small onion, chopped & sautéed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb ground beef
(1) 14.75 oz can of cream style sweet corn
6-8 medium white or gold potatoes (NOT russet)
3-4 tablespoons butter
1/3-1/2 cup milk
½ tsp garlic powder
Salt & pepper
LET’S MAKE IT!
Peel potatoes and chop into cubes. Put potatoes in a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes are fork-tender, approximately 12-15 minutes. Drain potatoes in a colander. In a mixing bowl, add HOT potatoes, butter and milk and mash until desired consistency. Keep mashed potatoes on the stiff side lest the casserole end up soupy (it tastes great either way!)
Add garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until ready to assemble.
Onions and Beef
In a sauté’ pan over medium-high heat, saute onions in olive oil until translucent. Add ground beef to pan and stir until browned. Remove rendered fat while cooking with a spoon or turkey baster. Salt and pepper to taste.
Spread half of the mashed potatoes into the bottom of a 9 x13″ casserole dish. Layer beef/onion mixture on top of potatoes. Evenly spread creamed corn over top of beef.
Dollop remaining mashed potatoes on top of beef/corn mixture and then spread evenly in baking pan (the dollops of potato make it easier to spread evenly without getting too much beef mixed into the top layer of potatoes). Sprinkle top with some paprika for color.
Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes to an hour or until you can see a little bubbling around the edges. ALLOW TO COOL OUT OF THE OVEN FOR at least 20 minutes. As leftovers, this dish can be cut into squares, but portioning on the day of cooking will be less firm. That’s normal.
To expedite dinner prep, I keep pre-sautéed onions and pre-browned ground beef on hand in the freezer. This dish takes me 20 minutes to make using prepared beef and onions!
In a heavy-bottomed pot, add 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil. Dice up 6 sweet onions (I like Vidalia when they’re in season) and sauté on medium to medium-low heat until translucent. Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cool, spoon onions into silicone ice cube trays and cover with plastic wrap. Place in freezer until hardened. Pop out into a zip top bag and store until ready to use. When ready to use onion cubes, place in a microwaveable dish and zap on high for about one minute.
Instant Ground Beef
I like to buy ground beef in bulk and brown it all at the same time, removing the rendered fat with a turkey baster. When browned, remove from heat and allow to cool. Then, package in quart size zip top bags in 1 lb increments. Lay bags flat on countertop so that the beef is evenly distributed throughout the bag. Then, freeze bags FLAT in the freezer. This makes the beef harden flat, which takes up less freezer space and expedites thawing.